Focus on long-term care policies; some interesting study results

High numbers of people across the United States, including many California residents, seek to respond meaningfully to advancing age by securing the benefits of long-term care policies offered by select insurance companies.

Certainly, no one can argue with the logic of purchasing protection against the possibility that an illness or other physical/mental condition can result in a lengthy stay in a nursing home or other care center.

Such care, as we all know, can be prohibitively expensive. In fact, and as noted in a recent Forbes article discussing long-term care insurance policies, annual costs for nursing home care can easily exceed $90,000 presently.

And so many people insure against such a possibility.

Unfortunately, many of those people fail to stay the course, with this adverse outcome resulting for many of them: When they find that they do need to call upon the protections of their LTC policies, those protections no longer exist.

Because those policies have lapsed. And that development, according to a study authored by researchers at Boston College, is far from being an uncommon occurrence.

In fact, researchers state that more than one-third of all people aged 65 who have LTC policies (with many of those people having paid premiums for years) subsequently lapse their coverage.

They do so for many reasons. Some can’t persist with payment duties that have become onerous. Some make a calculated judgment that they won’t need the care.

And some just flatly forget to keep up with the payments.

The result, in any case, is that such care is not available when needed.

For obvious reasons, long-term care provisions can be a critically important component of an estate plan. Some people opt for LTC policies to insure against health risks. Others forgo such protections, yet focus upon other planning elements that seek to achieve the same purpose.

An experienced elder law attorney understands well the concerns that can attach to advancing age. A proven estate planning lawyer can candidly advise a client and family members regarding health care considerations and help ensure that sound and tailored planning fully addresses them.

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